Reading My Way Around the World

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Philadelphia here I come.

I spotted this sign for Philadelphia out in the German countryside and was told that just a little bit up the road there was also New Boston.  What a curiosity in a country where all town names are very definitely of their native language!

Holger, the Mayor of Gross Schauen where we played, told me the story.  
The village church where we played a concert on Friday.

In the early 1800s many people left Germany to travel to America.   The only German seaports lie on the north coast - Bremen and Hamburg. People from the south, Bavaria and Thuringen had to pass through this region on their long walk to the North.  

The King spotted this and asked where they were going and they told him America.  So he said "this can be America". Stay here and I will give you land and seeds. He had recently heard about the wonder crop of potatoes and offered them all seed crops.  So he named the towns Philadelphia and New Boston - the people stayed and grew potatoes and the region started to grow and flourish.  To this day they still have a potato festival every year. 


  1. What a wonderful story Fil. When I read the title I thought you were really coming to Philly.

  2. that is such a great yarn

  3. Hi Fil - what an amazing story ... and saved them months of hassle, travel and potentially dangerous routes .. and now I expect they are flourishing ... I'm sure the potato festival is fun too ..

    Great to hear you met the Mayor and he told you this fun story! Hope the tour is going well and you're enjoying yourselves .. Cheers Hilary

  4. Yes, I thought the same as Jo and that you'd decided to tour the USA!! It is a wonderful story and I certainly remember having some of the yummiest potato dishes when I visited German so I'm sure the festival would be superb.

  5. What a fun story! And no doubt in my mind I could be one who was easily derailed from my exodus plans by the offer of potatoes. :-)

  6. I never herd this story before and it is just wonderful.

  7. Now that is an interesting twist on what a lot of towns in the US did when they were created. Flattery in its purest form.

    Father Nature's Corner


Do drop me a line ... I love to read your comments :)